Sharing the road with large trucks isn’t always easy, but things become downright dangerous when big rigs experience equipment failure. While there are systems in place to catch catastrophes before they happen, someone’s negligence could make an accident unavoidable.
Trucks with equipment violations are 10 times as likely to cause a crash as those operating within the rules. A study revealed that when inspectors looked over trucks after an accident, upwards of 55% had at least one violation. Nearly one-in-three had a dangerous enough defect that the truck should have been removed from operation.
Federal regulations lay plenty of ground rules for operating large trucks, and that includes making sure equipment is up to the task of running safely. Carriers and drivers both have requirements for frequent maintenance and inspections. Coming up short on any of these rules can significantly add to risks on the road.
A truck’s stopping power plays an enormous role in avoiding or minimizing damage, but defective brakes may not be up to the task of stopping a 40-ton vehicle. One study found that 42% of inspections uncovered inadequate brakes, and those in serious disrepair were three times as likely to cause an accident.
Visibility can also play a large part. 19% of all violations include lighting, like headlights, taillights and reflectors. Missing any of these important features can make it difficult for truck drivers to see obstacles or signal that they’re braking and turning. Rules even extend to working windshield wipers and mirrors.
Other essential features that need to be in working condition are trailer connections, wheels and tires and steering mechanisms. Any faults could result in dangerous conditions when an operator takes to the road.
Showing that a truck was at fault can be difficult. Compensation could depend on understanding the role equipment failure may have played in your accident, so it’s essential to understand the rules for operation.